The Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) is very pleased to announce that the Massapequa Soccer Club is being honored as our Club of the Month for January. Interestingly, the club’s founding in 1970 pre-dates the founding of Eastern New York in 1972. Two Massapequans, Pat McComiskey and Hank Oustecky, organized a meeting in 1970 at which several prominent individuals were present:
Gordon Bradley, then player/coach of the New York Cosmos
Bob Elder, JV boys coach at Massapequa High School
Joe Maca, former US men’s national team player
Alan Maher, Assistant Principal
Wayne Sunderland, Athletic Director at CW Post
“Bo” Wernersbach, men’s coach at Farmingdale State.
In March 1971, the Massapequa Soccer Club held its first registration for boys six through 18. 259 boys and 18 adults responded. Enthusiasm for soccer grew and the local girls wanted to play too so their participation was led by the tireless efforts of Liza Gozley and Nellie Haire.
Soccer took off and by 1974, 1,000 children were playing as Massapequa became synonymous with the sport. This was at a time when most other youth soccer clubs did not yet exist. In 1974, Massapequa started its first intramural tournament which is still in existence nearly five decades later on Father’s Day weekend. In 1978, Massapequa and Nassau County held a huge youth indoor soccer tourney at the Nassau Coliseum. And in 1980, Massapequa hosted its first Memorial Day weekend travel team tournament that is now called the Lincoln Page Memorial Day Tournament as it is named after the former club president and tourney director. Today, Massapequa also hosts kickoff tournaments in the spring and college showcase tourneys after Thanksgiving.
Special Children playing soccer in an organized league actually started in the Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL) back in 1978 when Massapequa and the Huntington Boys Club (HBC) separately started programs in an era when Special Children playing sports is not as accepted as it is today. Both programs continue today under the banner of TOPSoccer and Massapequa has 35 kids currently playing.
The Massapequa Falcons won the Athena Cup, the girls Under-19 national championship in 1988, and the Massapequa Arsenal took home the McGuire Cup, the boys Under-19 national championship in 2015. The Falcons coach was Peter Masotto, who volunteered as Eastern New York’s president for over two decades from 1984 to 2006.
It’s a long list of club alumni who have gone on to play pro soccer and that list includes current Red Bulls Sean and Dylan Nealis, Alan Bodenstein, Ray Hughes, Jim Kilmeade, Alain Maca, current Toronto FC President Bill Manning, Larry Sunderland, and Dan Vitiello on the boys side. For girls alumnae, the list includes sisters Christina, Gina, and Vickie DiMartino, sisters Mary-Theresa, Jean, and Margie Varas, Kim DeCesare, Danielle Egan, Laura Martin, Emily Pickering, Chemar Smith, Christie Welsh, and Jodi Yerys. Plus Matt Vowinkel and Hope Breslin were recently drafted into MLS and the NWSL respectively.
1,000 kids under the leadership of Club President Yuri Fishman are now wearing the maroon and yellow of the Massapequa Soccer Club.
“I am very proud that our club is able to offer programs for everyone within our community. We offer programs for all kids from Under-5 to Under-19, recreational, travel, elite as well as TOPSoccer,” explained Paul Bigilin, Massapequa’s Director of Coaching. “For our players who go off to college, we offer an Under-23 Summer Program as well as Winter Training when they are home. The Massapequa Soccer Club fosters a club and community environment where all players develop and experience soccer together regardless of ability.” Congratulations to Massapequa, the Eastern New York Club of the Month for January.